Marian Wright Edelman
someone reminded me last night, in the midst of a rough moment, that while i still have a ways to go, i've come a long way and accomplished a lot. these moments, when i lose sight of what i have done and focus too much on what i have left to do are the hardest. so, this thanksgiving, i plan to forget about how far i have left to go and think about everything that's been done already and savor the feeling of accomplishment. and with those accomplishments come so many thanks...
for life. every day is wonderful. there are no guarentees in any of this, and you can choose to face each opportunity searching for the gifts in it or focusing on the difficulties. even in adversity, there is so much to be gained. i've learned that life is truly what we make it, and really has nothing to do with how long we live it for. i'm so thankful for the new perspective so early in my life.
for family and friends. there's no way to survive cancer without a strong web of support. this has been quite the ride so far, and it's not over yet...i feel so fortunate to have everyone i do around me to lift me up and push me forward. i know it's not only a marathon for me, but everyone in my life, too. some days i think it's harder on everyone else, and i'm so thankful for all of them for toughing it out, too.
for the most wonderful cancer fighting team, ever. on every step of this journey, i've met amazing people who have given me so much, and so much more than just medical care. every day they amaze me with their selflessness and kindness. cancer can be scary, but every person on my team has made sure that fear is eliminated, and that i have everything i need to face cancer with a strength i never thought i had. these aren't just doctors, nurses and assistants...they are my heroes, advocates and life savers.
for my fellow cancer warriors. i'm so inspired by each of the people i've met who have, and are, fighting the hodge. especially for michelle...for four years of college we lived on the same floor, had the same classes, same honor societies, and many of the same friends...but, it wasn't until my diagnosis that we became close friends. and, for kerri...who, through this experience, has become an amazing friend and inspiration. without the hodge, i'd never have these friendships...and i wouldn't trade them for the world. you're both a reflection of how wonderful life is, and you help me remember that there is life after cancer. you are the light in the darkest moments.
for my students. for reminding me that there is nothing to gain by focusing on the adversity in our lives. for showing me the importance of focusing on what we can do, and ignoring what others tell us we cannot do. for defying all the odds. for teaching me so much about life. for giving me so many opportunities to laugh, to learn and to be inspired.
the list goes on and on.... this experience has been the single greatest opportunity of my life. it's hard, and at times it has it's dark moments. but, in the end, whatever the outcome, i know it's made me a better and stronger person.
and if we're not thankful for life, regardless of what hand we've been dealt, than what is there left to live for? always look for the things you're thankful for...there's reason to be thankful in everything we're given...sometimes you just have to look a little harder to find it.